The School I Never Wanted to Attend
Worn out buildings at the Adventist school almost keep Nalinda from attending.
“Dad, we must be lost! This cannot be the famous school we have always heard of! Let’s ask for directions.” My heart dropped to my feet as the gatekeeper struggled with the creaky wooden doors. This place felt more like a prison than a school—and I had never wanted to attend an Adventist school in the first place!
“It is not the magnificence that matters, my daughter, but the academic excellence,” my father whispered in my ear. I sulked as we went through the registration process, but I could not hold back my tears when Dad waved goodbye. Why had my beloved father imprisoned me in the name of education? So what if our Anglican school had not been performing well? At least it looked decent!
“Come, I will show you where you will sleep,” a smiling woman spoke to me in a kind voice. I hung my head as she picked up my mattress and suitcase and led me to the dormitory. This was the saddest day of my life!
That evening, my fellow pupils lined up in front of a dilapidated structure made of rusty old iron sheets. What could be going on? Then I saw them coming out with plates of food. This must be the cafeteria!
I lined up and got my food, but I could not eat. My frustration only increased when I saw my classroom—a dusty, open-air shelter made of old, decaying wood.
At exactly 7 o’clock, the bell rang, and the students skipped toward the church building, grinning and laughing. I decided to escape to the dormitory, but I found the doors locked. I am Anglican! I fumed. I do not need to go to an Adventist church! I stood outside with my head in my hands.
“Come, let us enter the house of the Lord,” the same kind woman spoke. “It is prayer time; don’t be sad.” Her tenderness soothed the ache in my heart, and I went with her into the chapel. It was there that all my agony melted into joy! I had never heard children singing in beautiful harmony the way that even the youngest students here sang. At least I will enjoy chapel services, I marveled. After the orderly 30-minute service, I returned to the dormitory and began adapting to my situation.
My father never visited me until he came to pick me up at the end of the school term. He thought I would refuse to return to that school the following term, but I was eager to go back. I missed my sweet, godly teachers who began every lesson with prayer and Scripture, always giving practical illustrations. They tenderly counseled us whenever we had challenges. What the buildings lacked, the teachers more than made up for! My parents seemed pleased with both my academic progress and my new interest in the Bible and prayer.
During the next term, the school held a week of prayer with Pastor Kaganzi, who introduced us to many new Bible truths under the theme “Let the Bible Speak.” At the end of the week of prayer, I decided to be baptized. I rejoice in the new life I have in Christ. And to think that I never wanted to attend this school!
I did not consult my parents on my decision to be baptized, so I don’t know what their reaction will be when I tell them. Please pray for my family to be open to the new truths I have learned!
Note: Despite its rundown appearance, Katerera SDA Primary school has been ranked the best of the 25 schools in its political district, and the second best of all Seventh-day Adventist schools in Uganda!
Nalinda Precious is a student at the Katerera Seventh-day Adventist Primary School.
How You Can Help
Pray for the expansion and repair of the Katerera School. Pray that it will be a powerful evangelistic center!
Pray for Nalinda as she begins her new walk in Christ, and for her family to be open to her new faith.
Give to support educational evangelism in Uganda. New school buildings are needed! Send your gifts marked “Uganda Schools” to:
Mission Projects International
PO Box 151
Inchelium, WA 99138
To give securely online, visit: www.missionspro.org/donate